Recruit foreign talent thanks to H-1B Visa Program can be a great way to boost your company’s success in your industry and create a more diverse and dynamic workforce. However, hiring an H-1B employee is not without challenges, and any errors made by the sponsoring employer during the process may jeopardize the H-1B holder’s status in the United States and ability of the company to hire foreign talents in the future. Here are some common mistakes U.S. employers make when navigating the H-1B program:
1. Errors in the job description
One of the most common H-1B pitfalls starts with the job description. Many companies inadvertently develop job descriptions that are too narrow or too specific, which can limit the pool of potential candidates. To meet H-1B requirements, the job must be a “specialty occupation,” meaning it must require a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field. It is essential to ensure that the job description reflects the actual duties and qualifications required.
Errors when submitting the working conditions request (LCA)
The Labor Conditions Application (LCA) is an essential part of the H-1B process. Businesses must file the LCA with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) before submitting the H-1B petition to USCIS. The LCA must be filed at the earliest 6 months before the employee’s start date indicated on the ACV.
Common errors in LCA include inaccuracies in determining the prevailing wage rate, incorrect workplace details, or missing or inconsistent information. Errors in the LCA can result in delays or denials. It is therefore essential to carefully review and complete this form accurately. You can find out more about the LCA process and how to comply with the LCA regulations in our guide here.
Incomplete or incorrect filing fees
Another common mistake U.S. employers make when sponsoring H-1B employees is submitting a petition with incomplete or incorrect government filing fees. Failure to submit the appropriate fees can result in delays and even rejection of the H-1B petition.
To see the full breakdown of H-1B filing fees and any additional costs to expect when sponsoring an H-1B employee, visit our cost guide.
The H-1B regulations require employers to pay their H-1B employees the greater of the actual wage paid to other employees in the same role or the prevailing wage for the occupation. U.S. employers must also pay the H-1B employee no later than 30 days after entering the country on an H-1B visa (or 60 days after the visa’s validity date if the employee is already in the United States with H-1B status). Failure to meet these salary requirements may result in violations of the H-1B program and serious consequences under U.S. immigration law. Companies should conduct thorough salary investigations and ensure compliance with current salary requirements to avoid potential legal issues.
Failure to maintain organized documentation
Maintaining organized and up-to-date documentation is crucial for compliance with the H-1B program. Businesses must maintain records of all H-1B documents, including the LCA, H-1B petitions, employee resumes, job offers, and any communications with government agencies. Failure to maintain organized documentation can make it difficult to respond to government inquiries or audits and may result in sanctions or visa program violations.
Need more help on how to manage work visa compliance? We have what you need.